Kindle fired: 75% want printed books, not ebooks

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Science and Technology,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Books,Technology

America is showing signs that it hasn't totally abandoned one low-tech tradition: taking a dog-eared book to the beach.

A stunning 75 percent of adults told Rasmussen Reports that they prefer a printed book on actual paper to an electronic version displayed on devices like the Kindle Fire, Nook or iPad. Just 15 percent prefer ebooks.

And, said Rasmussen, that's an increase of those who prefer books--and a rare slapdown of technology. In his 2011 poll on the same issue, 23 percent said they prefer ebooks.

According to the Rasmussen poll, while 75 percent prefer printed books, 78 percent said they "usually read a book in the traditional printed format."

That might help explain the recent decline in sales of the Barnes & Noble nook.

Another surprising finding in Rasmussen's poll was that readers don't consider the price of books and ebooks much when considering which to buy, even though ebooks are typically less expensive.

"Only 44 percent of Americans view book prices as at least somewhat important to their decision whether to get an electronic reading device. Fifty percent do not consider the price of books important to their decision," said the pollster.

Other findings in the poll:

-- 35 percent say when they buy a book, they are most likely to go to an actual bookstore, while 18% would go to some other retail store.

-- 27 percent are most likely to order a book over the Internet.

-- 14 percent would most likely download it to their electronic reader.

-- 22 percent say they have seen a book title in a traditional bookstore and then instead of buying it have downloaded it to their computer or electronic reader.

-- Women are more likely than men to have bought a book recently, but both overwhelmingly prefer the traditional print format.

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on July 11-12, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.